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Coming to Da Lat without trying these dishes will be a regret

Saturday, January 21, 2023, 10:00 GMT+7
Coming to Da Lat without trying these dishes will be a regret
Banh mi xiu mai (meatball bread) in Da Lat. Photo: Nguyen Trung Au / Tuoi Tre News

Da Lat, a popular tourist destination in the Central Highlands of Lam Dong, is well-known for its temperate climate and year-round cool weather, as well as multiple kinds of flowers. In addition, its cuisine is a reason for travel lovers to visit this city.

Trying dishes and learning about stories about them are a must-do activity in the city of thousands of flowers.

Banh mi xiu mai is a wonderful choice in the morning in Da Lat. This is a popular dish with hot crispy bread; soft, hot and tasty meatballs, and bold sauce, served with herbs and shredded green papaya.

Many people have started their Da Lat trip with this dish.

The banh mi Nga stall in Da Lat. Photo: Nguyen Trung Au / Tuoi Tre News
The banh mi Nga stall in Da Lat. Photo: Nguyen Trung Au / Tuoi Tre News

Banh mi, a type of Vietnamese baguette sandwich filled with cold meats, pâté and vegetables, is one of the most popular dishes in Vietnam.

It is present across the country and Da Lat is not an outsider. The city is home to many banh mi stands.

Among them, banh mi Nga at 22 Ba Thang Hai Street has won over hearts and stomachs of multiple eaters.

The banh mi there is famous thanks to its pâté and mayo. Tourists should reach the banh mi stall in early mornings as its banh mi may be sold out before 9:00 am.

Chicken hotpot with lemon basil leaves. Photo: Nguyen Trung Au / Tuoi Tre News
Chicken hotpot with lemon basil leaves. Photo: Nguyen Trung Au / Tuoi Tre News

Lau ga la e (Chicken hotpot with lemon basil leaves) whose main ingredients have been stated in the name of the dish is another must-try dish in Da Lat.

Lemon basil leaves are the soul of the dish. It is not a good choice to eat alone but once being combined with chicken hotpot, it is really delicious.

The hotpot is good to eaters’ heath as lemon basil is a kind of herb.

Lemon basil leaves, in addition to being put into the hotpot while eating like other kinds of hotpot, can be cooked with the stock, contributing to make the stock bold and unique.

Besides chicken and lemon basil leaves, the dish also has fresh bamboo shoots and mushrooms.

A woman puts rice flour into ceramic molds to make banh can. Photo: Nguyen Trung Au / Tuoi Tre News
A woman puts rice flour into ceramic molds to make banh can. Photo: Nguyen Trung Au / Tuoi Tre News
Banh can is served with meatball soup. Photo: Nguyen Trung Au / Tuoi Tre News
Banh can is served with meatball soup. Photo: Nguyen Trung Au / Tuoi Tre News

Banh can (mini savory Vietnamese pancakes) in Da Lat originates from south-central provinces. It is made of rice flour with stuffing including eggs, seafood or meat.

The dish should be eaten with fish sauce or fermented fish sauce, shredded mango and meatballs.

The Ba Toa beef hotpot eatery is simple, small and warm, attracting many tourists, especially youngsters. Photo: Nguyen Trung Au / Tuoi Tre News
The Ba Toa beef hotpot eatery is simple, small and warm, attracting many tourists, especially youngsters. Photo: Nguyen Trung Au / Tuoi Tre News
Ba Toa beef hotpot. Photo: Nguyen Trung Au / Tuoi Tre News
Ba Toa beef hotpot. Photo: Nguyen Trung Au / Tuoi Tre News

Ba Toa beef hotpot is a well-known dish in Da Lat. Ba Toa is derived from the word “abattoir” in French, meaning slaughterhouse. At the location of the eatery, there used to be a slaughterhouse.

Enjoying hotpot in the cold weather in Da Lat will be a great experience.

The dish’s main ingredients—beef and beef bones—will make the stock bold and tasty. Before being stewed for two to three hours, beef bones should be roasted.

A bowl of snails stuffed with pork. Photo: Nguyen Trung Au / Tuoi Tre News
A bowl of snails stuffed with pork. Photo: Nguyen Trung Au / Tuoi Tre News

Despite being situated in the Central Highlands, Da Lat is not short of dishes whose materials are mainly found in lowland areas. Snails stuffed with pork are a proof for the diversified cuisine in Da Lat.

Snail meat is mixed with pork and spices, especially ginger, lemongrass, and pepper. Snail shells will be used to keep the stuffing hot for a longer time.

The dish is served with Thai basil and sliced green banana. It will be greater if diners sip alcoholic drinks while eating the dish.

A man bakes sweet potatoes near Da Lat Market. Photo: Nguyen Trung Au / Tuoi Tre News
A man bakes sweet potatoes near Da Lat Market. Photo: Nguyen Trung Au / Tuoi Tre News

Da Lat’s sweet potatoes are big, sweet and highly starchy. Baked sweet potatoes seem simple, but they are different in the Da Lat atmosphere.

Taking a stroll in Da Lat on winter nights and enjoying baked sweet potatoes will be a must-try experience for visitors.

A stall offering boiled eggs, grilled dried squid, and soya milk on a Da Lat street. Photo: Nguyen Trung Au / Tuoi Tre News
A stall offering boiled eggs, grilled dried squid, and soya milk on a Da Lat street. Photo: Nguyen Trung Au / Tuoi Tre News

Besides specialties, street food dishes are seen at every corner in Da Lat. The cold weather seems to make dishes there more special.

“Ba Khung” (Crazy lady) makes banh trang nuong (grilled rice paper), which is considered Vietnamese pizza. Her stall is one of the most famous banh trang nuong stalls in Da Lat. Photo: Nguyen Trung Au / Tuoi Tre News
“Ba Khung” (Crazy lady) makes banh trang nuong (grilled rice paper), which is considered Vietnamese pizza. Her stall is one of the most famous banh trang nuong stalls in Da Lat. Photo: Nguyen Trung Au / Tuoi Tre News
Banh trang nuong is cut into smaller pieces and eaten with chilli sauce. Photo: Nguyen Trung Au / Tuoi Tre News
Banh trang nuong is cut into smaller pieces and eaten with chilli sauce. Photo: Nguyen Trung Au / Tuoi Tre News

Banh trang nuong (grilled rice paper) is considered Vietnamese pizza. Its main ingredients are rice paper topped with cheese, eggs, butter, dried shredded chicken, and spring onion.

There are many banh trang nuong stalls in Da Lat, but “Ba Khung” (Crazy lady) is probably the most well-known.

It is even said that if you come to Da Lat without eating banh trang nuong of “Ba Khung”, it is supposed that you have not visit this city.

The stall is located at 61 Nguyen Van Troi Street. In addition to the quality of her products, “Ba Khung” herself has attracted many customers.

She is quick-witted, resourceful but may refuse to sell products or give a talking-to to customers if they complain about long waiting time.

Some people are willing to wait for one to two hours to buy a grilled rice paper of “Ba Khung”.

‘He’ sweetened porridge. Photo: Nguyen Trung Au / Tuoi Tre News
‘He’ sweetened porridge. Photo: Nguyen Trung Au / Tuoi Tre News

'He' (Ajar) sweetened porridge attracts not only tourists but also local residents. The name of the eatery was born as its doors are always opened slightly, enough for a person to pass through at a time.

At the eatery, sweetened porridge is diversified and changed daily. This will be an ideal venue for tourists at the end of the day.

Da Lat is also home to multiple kinds of sweet cakes. Enjoying these cakes together with a cup of hot soya milk is an advice for visitors to Da Lat. Photo: Nguyen Trung Au / Tuoi Tre News
Da Lat is also home to multiple kinds of sweet cakes. Enjoying these cakes together with a cup of hot soya milk is an advice for visitors to Da Lat. Photo: Nguyen Trung Au / Tuoi Tre News

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Thanh Ha - Nguyen Trung Au / Tuoi Tre News

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